Quick Evaluation of Brimstone CMS and my Silo Use

  • en

by on | License Permalink

I have a bit of a weird relationship with the Indieweb. I’m not really sure where I stand in that nexus as I’ve made no attempts to connect with the community, but draw inspiration heavily from Indieweb user Rhiaro and often look on the wiki when I’ve got work-paralysis on Brimstone and want to procrastinate by adding another half-finished feature and not fix muh bugs. Anyway, from the Indieweb I learned of the term “Silo”. Defined as

A silo, or web content hosting silo, in the context of the IndieWeb, is a centralized web site typically owned by a for-profit corporation that stakes some claim to content contributed to it and restricts access in some way (has walls).

They share characteristics such as preventing easy export of content in standard formats, and requiring you to use an identity exclusive to that site (ie your Facebook account. Since I recently underwent evaluations of my Facebook use, and subsequently began my tactical withdrawal from the platform, I thought I’d evaluate my current state of play. It’s coming up a year since I started development over here.

Silo Use

Here’s the state-of-play when it comes to my use of Silos

  • I use Twitter a lot, via POSSEing. I still need to sign in to the site to check my notifications. I like microblogging and it’s the best way to let others see my content.
  • I’ve just begun withdrawing from Facebook. I removed all of the photos I could, locked down my privacy settings (I might still be discoverable though), and unfollowed everything in my News Feed to stop drawing me back in.
  • I still use Messenger (Facebook), although only check it in the morning and evening. I haven’t received a message via the platform for days. I use Telegram to speak to the people I speak to the most. Mainly some close friends and colleagues.
  • I downloaded all my Facebook data to save my photos but I’m not sure where to put them. I think Google has a few of my photos.
  • I removed my Google Plus account years ago but it was full of images, and I doubt Google actually destroy it.
  • I’ve got a tumblr and a blogger somewhere but I’ve never seriously maintained them past maybe two posts from 2011 and 2013 respectively.
  • I’ve never had a MySpace
  • I have a LinkedIn :-( But that’s kinda for just accepting requests from old colleagues. Sort of what it’s for I suppose. It gets updated once a year if I get a paper in or medal or something (so rarely).
  • I use Google as my main identity provider for oAuth SSO purposes, and GMail is pretty nifty even though Google are pure evil and I just presume my GMail is open to the capitalist class.

Brimstone CMS

Here’s the state-of-the-art when it comes to my indieweb software

  • I auto-POSSE Notes to Twitter.
  • I can write longform blog posts in markdown
  • I can check in to places and can retrodate them.
  • I fixed the bug with datetimes (my ignorance) and now my blog isn’t just one stream of notes for readers.
  • I have inline tagging for Notes and tags for Posts.
  • I have an RSS reader which I can create a newsfeed from.
  • I have a control panel which is heavily Bootstrap’d.
  • It draws in Twitter, and renders an aggregated RSS newsfeed in two different tabs.
  • My AJAX is terrible.
  • I can favourite a tweet and it goes to twitter.
  • I am working on favourites over here, for both RSS items and storing Twitter faves.
  • My AJAX is terrible.
  • I can view Twitter profiles up to the 20 or so tweets returned with a single request.
  • I can see all my friends/followers from Twitter, and follow/unfollow them via terrible AJAX
  • My Gravatar profile image and my Twitter account are hardcoded in, and need generalising.
  • The whole CMS needs a set-up screen and a settings page if it’s ever to be released.

Features I’d like

  • Images for notes and blog posts. Storing them is more of an issue than the feature itself atm.
  • Track exercise and set goals. I used to use Fitocracy a lot and would also like to digitise some of my old training diaries for posterity.
  • Statistics to run over Notes, Blog Posts, Training sessions etc.
  • Probably should integrate some indieweb H-feed reading.
  • Probably should allow for webmentions, etc. Communicating with others etc.
  • Probably should mark up my feed with microformats
  • Track time invested in various skills, hobbies, and activities. Could be useful for a CV someday but also I could toy around with having a page in the style of an RPG character sheet, which is auto-updated as I invest time points in developing skills.


I’m not too bad in the way of Silo use. There’s a lot to do on Brimstone but now I actually have myself a TODO list. Should be a fun year.